England batted first on a flat pitch and were powered by a 160-run stand for the first wicket between centurion Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy. And despite a century from Rohit Sharma, India could only manage 306-5.
After the game, Kohli raised questions about the ‘random’ appearance of a 59-metre boundary in the World Cup. England’s batting – that had struggled against the main teams – came back into form on Sunday.
“The toss was vital, especially looking at the boundary that was quite short. I think it was 59 metres which coincidentally is the minimum required in an international match. It was quite bizarre on a flat pitch. It’s crazy that things fall in place like that randomly,” Kohli said.
The India skipper brought up the boundary issue again when asked why he did not go for the part-time spin of Kedar Jadhav when regular spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (0-88) and Kuldeep Yadav (1-71) were taken apart.
“If batsmen are able to reverse sweep you for six on a 59 metre boundary there is not much you can do. And one side was 82 metres. You can’t do much with a short boundary. I thought they were going towards 360 at one stage and we did quite well to pull them back. We could have restricted them more but Ben (Stokes) played a good innings. We were quite happy at the break,” Kohli added.
Kohli said it was England who played the better cricket in all departments and deserved the win.
“No one likes to lose but you have to accept the other side played better. The mood is absolutely same in the change room, we understand as professional cricketers it’s a setback. But we should have been clinical because the wicket was flat. We could have accelerated and got closer to their total.”
The India skipper was asked about the lack of intent shown by MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav in the final five overs when India needed 71 runs. The two took singles and twos when the required rate was 15. Kohli said it was just not their day.
“I think MS was trying really hard to get the boundary. They were just bowling good areas. We’ll have to sit down and assess and improve in the next game. We thought if we get a start we can get it but that didn’t happen. When (Rishabh) Pant and (Hardik) Pandya were in there we thought we had a decent chance. But England were better on the day.”
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